CentOS 7 - The perfect desktop, second guide!

Updated: December 3, 2014

If you have been following Dedoimedo recently, as you should, then you have read a whole bunch of CentOS 7 related articles, which show how this standard enterprise distribution can be tamed for home use with great success.

I won't claim that CentOS 7 is divine. The fact you need to use external channels to supplement your binary vitamins is a little troubling, especially since those sources can change, break and whatnot. But for geeks seeking long-term peace of mind, stability and quality, it's a reasonable compromise. We had one comprehensive guide showing us how to make a CentOS 7 desktop perfect. Now, here's another.


Proprietary graphics drivers

You surely want to install the graphics drivers for your card, in case your system has the the right hardware. Well, I have written a separate tutorial that explains how this can be done with Nvidia drivers. The basic idea is true for all similar cases.

With apps 2

Samba printing

Again, we have a tutorial for this thing.

Printing works

Package management GUI

By default, CentOS does not ship with any frontends for yum. Well, you can definitely install YumEx, which is normally the default package manager in Scientific Linux, but not in the latest release, though. It will do quite well. The command to install the software is almost inception-like:

yum install yumex


Mouse & Touchpad

There are two things you might want to tweak. One, the behavior of the mouse, so you use double clicks rather than single clicks. Quite essential for fresh, enthusiastic Windows followers. Two, disable Touchpad clicks when typing. Both these options are available in the standard system settings menu.

Mouse & Touchpad

NTFS support

This is also quite essential. You may want to be able to mount and use Windows partitions, especially if you have dual-boot systems, as I have recently demonstrated with the brand-new and fresh CentOS 7 & Windows 7 guide. Well, in that case, after you have configured some third-party repos, you will need to install the following packages:

yum install findntfs fuse-ntfs-3g ntfsprogs

Windows partition mounted

Microsoft fonts

This is something you may want. Anyhow, there's a whole page explaining what needs to be done, but essentially, it comes down to two simple commands. To wit:

yum install curl cabextract xorg-x11-font-utils fontconfig
rpm -i https://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/mscorefonts2/->

Microsoft fonts


More software. In case, it ain't installed, for the KDE desktop, you sure want Amarok:

yum install amarok



We sure did talk about Firefox, but what about its sibling?

yum install thunderbird



You will want this neat program to manage your disks and partitions, including external media, like SD cards. Either way, GParted is always a handy addition in your system toolbox.

yum install gparted



Data backups are critical. You know that, right?

yum install grsync


More reading

If you care, here's more splendid RedHat and CentOS 6 stuff:

The ultimate Scientific Linux pimping guide

The essential Fedora pimping guide

How to make CentOS 6 into a perfect desktop

CentOS 6 pimping guides - parts two and three

CentOS 6 in my production setup

CentOS 6 & SSD stuff


And another articles to an end. In essence, there is no limit to how much new and extra software one can install to make their desktop that much prettier or more useful. This is why I tried to keep the list short and sane and functional.

Here, we learn more about graphics drivers and printing, some Microsoft utilities, and a few other programs that are really popular and quite necessary, with primary focus on disk management and backups. Hopefully, you like this second compilation, too. There might be more. Don't be stranger, file in your demands, I might listen. Anyhow, take care and enjoy your beefed-up, or should I say, pimped up, CentOS 7 box. Who would have thought?